Tetrapod Zoology

Archives for November, 2009

The resurrection of Anaxyrus

After a little delay, it’s time to embark once more into the World of Toads!!! Having previously looked at toads in general, and at the toads of Europe, we here continue the series by looking at yet more familiar, northern toads: this time at those of North America.

Carnivorous animals often die from choking, and field biologists have done a good job of recording many such instances in the literature. This image shows an unlucky young Roadrunner Geococcyx californicus found dead in Brisco County, Texas, in 1998. The bird had tried swallowing a Texas horned lizard Phrynosoma cornutum, and things clearly went horribly…

Congrats yet again to Sterling Nesbitt and colleagues on the publication of another one of those insane Triassic hellasaurs, this time the surreal archosauriform* Vancleavea campi (Nesbitt et al. 2009) [adjacent life restoration by Sterling Nesbitt]. Vancleavea was named by Long & Murry (1995) and is well represented by various bits and pieces from the…

The Zitteliana pterosaur special

Long-time readers will recall my few articles about the Peter Wellnhofer pterosaur meeting [see links below], held at the Bayerische Staatssammlung für Paläontologie und Geologie (Bavarian State Palaeontological Collection – BSPG) in Munich in 2007. The meeting, organised by Dr Dave Hone, was attended by most of the world’s pterosaur workers, and was planned to…

I had to scan some hominid pictures today; came across this old classic and thought it worth using here.

As a Tet Zoo regular you’ll know and love the remarkable limbless amphibians known as caecilians. In case you don’t know, caecilians have sensory tentacles, sometimes have protrusible eyes, sometimes lack eyes entirely, often exhibit sophisticated parental care [maternal skin-feeding is going on in the middle image above], are incredibly long-bodied yet often lack tails,…

Riding the sivathere

My good friend Luis Rey was kind enough to pass on the following photos, taken at the Jardin Des Plantes in Paris. It’s the extinction carousel, (presumably) the only place in the world where you might ride a sivathere…

Big animalivorous microbats

Time only for a picture-of-the-day post… here are portraits of the big animalivorous microbats Otomops (a molossid, of course*), Cheiromeles (also a molossid) and Vampyrum (a phyllostomid). The pic is from Freeman (1984), but you might notice that two of the drawings are based on the photos featured in Walker’s Mammals of the World.

You’ve probably seen – presumably on TV – Nile crocs Crocodylus niloticus interacting with Common hippos Hippopotamus amphibius (if you’ve seen it in real life, lucky you). By and large the two seem to keep apart. Having said that, there are certainly photos of the two sharing the same sandbanks. And then there are those…

By now you might have read my two previous articles (part I, part II) on the assorted tetrapods I encountered in Libya last month. Here’s the third and final part in the series [image below shows chital at left, melanistic fallow top-centre, nilgai bottom-centre, blackbuck at right]. It’s a bit unusual for a Tet Zoo…